“We used the same techniques that we use all the time in the vascular system and applied it to the lungs,” Dr. Racadio said. “With our tools and help of X-ray, we could guide our catheter further into the lungs than they could go with the bronchoscope or with a traditional balloon.”
Since February, Ja’ir has undergone 14 procedures to re-open the many areas of narrowed and closed airways. His lung function has nearly doubled. Dr. Hysinger and his team will continue to monitor Ja’ir every few months.
“The success in this case relies so much on the collaboration and multidisciplinary care,” Dr. Hysinger said. “Without that, we would not have been successful.”
Living Life to the Fullest
After receiving homebound instruction for most of seventh grade, Ja’ir, now 13 years old, is glad to be back in school with his friends. Janay describes him as a typical teenager. He loves playing video games, socializing with friends and going on dates to the movies. He’s even playing pickup games of basketball again.
Throughout his ordeal, Ja’ir has stayed brave, happy, and funny. He often cracked jokes to keep his medical team and his loved ones laughing.
“I was unfazed that I was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease,” Ja’ir says. “I knew there was a possibility I could die, but I’m thankful that my mom and dad noticed I wasn’t feeling like myself. I’m happy they noticed before it was too late. Besides the doctors at Cincinnati Children’s, my parents and family are my real heroes.”
Ja’ir is already setting career goals: Recently he told his mother that he wants to become a life coach. He wants to help others get through difficult times in life, as he has done.
“He’s been through a lot within this last year, and he is not letting the disease define him,” Janay said. “He still has goals in mind and talks about the future. This disease is not a death sentence for him.
“I’m so grateful for the entire medical team at Cincinnati Children’s. They are amazing. I'm just happy that they were able to develop a procedure that could help my son. Otherwise, he likely would not be here with us. I’m forever indebted to them."
(Published January 2023)